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Japan Plans Indigenous Air-to-Air Missile for Sixth-Gen Fighter

Japan plans to develop an indigenous air-to-air missile to arm the next-generation fighter jet it has been developing with the UK and Italy.

A UK-Japan study recommended the option over the MBDA Meteor, Kyodo News reported, citing sources.

The missile was found to be a better value for money for the aircraft’s initial batches, the study found.

Sixth-Gen Aircraft Program

Japan could later consider acquiring missiles used for British and Italian aircraft.

The Meteor is one of the candidates for the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP) aircraft.

The sixth-generation fighter program is being helmed by the three countries with an aircraft ready for induction by 2035.

The GCAP is a replacement for the Japanese Air Force’s 90 aging F-2s and over 240 Eurofighters of the Italian and British air forces.

British-Japan Missile for F-35 Fleet

Meanwhile, Japan and the UK are also working on a Joint New Air-to-Air Missile program.

The missile seeks to integrate the Meteor’s ramjet engine with the Mitsubishi’s advanced AESA active radar seeker.

It’s intended to be integrated with the countries’ respective F-35 fighter fleets. 

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